Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Name

My blogging name is "Every 7th Day." This is not a holy swagger.

When I was a very young minister (27) I went to a clergy cluster meeting and bemoaned how exhausted I was. The group was generally supportive but one comment always stuck with me.

I am very fortunate to have Rev. Gordon McKeeman as a colleague. He is a brilliant man and also quite funny. On the day in question, Gordon was probably in his early seventies. His little finger had more brilliance than my whole self then, or probably now. But Gordon is also gentle, kind-hearted, and understated.

Instead of giving me a tongue lashing or ignoring me, Gordon addressed my exhaustion in his quiet way: It's because every seventh day is Sunday.

He was right, of course. Not just about the days of the week, but about the brand of fatigue to which our ilk are prone. I often describe it to non-ministers as: Every person has one perfect sermon somehwere inside of them. Most of us have 6 or 7 great ones, too. It's the next 250-1000 that are the tricky ones.

Today is Sunday. I am wiped out. Services this AM were more complex than they sometimes are. We had a delightful and lively crowd at church and I tried to at least say hello to them all. My back hurts. My throat is sore. I'm out of words.

But my regular readers know that since the children were born - I'm always tired and sore. Always rushed. Always trying to find this balance between chaos and serenity. Always hoping to make sense out of the maelstrom. But every seventh day...


Lizard Eater said...

Hot bath. Hot tea. Long sleep. Oooh, or a professional massage ...

Today, in check-in at my worship meeting, I said that I was feeling very overwhelmed, between church, seminary and family. But that it was like the difference between pain from appendicitis and pain from childbirth. The latter ... well, it was worth it. I'm overwhelmed right now ... but I think it'll be worth it.

After all, maybe, someday, if I'm very lucky ... I can be exhausted from every 7th day, too. ;)

dubhlainn said...

Gordon is one of my heros. I met him for the first time around Christmas.

You put it right when you speak of his gentleness, he is an amazing minister and man.

I wrote a sermon about him a few years ago and one of the members of my church sent a recording on to him. In our meeting he tried to convince me that his inspiring words (taken form the 20 years of sermons given at my church, the UU Church of Akron) were really typos because the woman typing them up was blind and was typing them from tape recordings that were not always clear.

His wife stood by his side shaking her head and thanking me for the service.

These few moments will be ones that stick with me for the rest of my life, not that anything was said that was so insightful or inspiring but jst because... well... how often does one not only get to meet their heros but be thanked by them for your own words?

Bryan said...

If it helps any, we (Amy and I) very much enjoyed your service yesterday.

Every 7th Day said...

Honestly - you have, what... 9 children between the ages of 4 minutes and 12 years? ;)

Do you really think your exhaustion will be on a schedule other than constant?

And, grrlfriend, luck ain't gonna' have nothing to do with it as far as you are concerned.

Got your back.

BTW - find a bag of cash on the street and come to GA with the kids this year. I'm bringing mine.
2 of your 18 can stay in our room at the Hyatt.

Every 7th Day said...

That is SOOOOO Gordon, and SO Phyllis, too.

Thanks for sharing that great story. We are truly lucky to have them both.

Every 7th Day said...

And for Bryan, Amy and Baby M - it was wonderful seeing you on Sunday. I will be needing some snuggle time with the bella on a future Sunday, however. She's at that squeezable stage.

nuuquuilter said...

Just want you to know I think Sunday's sermon ranks with the great ones! I loved it. People who didn't hear it should get the CD! Not kidding.